Something from my roots

I am a pure Kayan, one of many races who called Sarawak home from God knows hundreds years ago.

When I was handed the assignment to interview this American anthropologist who actually really going out there and put all Kayan epics into writing, I thought the job was going to be easy.

But as I went into my research, I learnt more about my culture and ancestors.

It was familiar; all about it. The stories faces, names, places everything was so familiar.

The familiarity smelled like Christmas. I remember years back when I sat in the kitchen with my mum baking Christmas cookies, she told me some legends of my ancestors.

In one way, I was impressed by the anthropologist. I was impressed by her work and dedication into it.

I was also inspired by her. I want to do what she does.

But can I? I have so many things in my hands now. Well, not exactly. I pretty much have a lot free times.

I don’t know. Maybe one day. One day, I just pack my bag, go to a random Kayan longhouse and start to write their stories.

Here is the article on Stef Morgan and her work in writing down Kayan epics. Click this link.

Affirmation as Motivator

After working day in and out, it is good to be affirmed of your writings.

More than a month ago, I met a German lady who stayed in Kuching and selling organic soaps.

I thought it was a good story so I wrote a feature on her.

Here is the link to the article.

Then she sent me an email thanking for the job well done.

I really appreciate it.

As a journalist, most readers are ready to shoot you down for any mistakes rather than build you up.

Affirmation

In a different angle

Every time I sit down to write something especially in my current line of work, the first question I ask myself “What is my angle?”

In fact, I asked that question on my way to every event I was assigned to.

Being an online journalist at a youth-based website gives me the freedom to be creative in determining my angle. In the same time, it is terrifying.

Terrifying in the sense that the angle would not be the right angle to draw readers’ attentions.

A week ago, I accompanied Danielle to her interview, her assignment was to write a personality piece on Scottish photographer Gerry Fox who is currently based in Kuching.

His photos were in completely a different angle from any photographers in Kuching I have seen so far.

They were all blunt, unadorned. But they stop you at your track, pull a trigger on your forehead and shoot you a question; do you know all of these are in your backyard?

I want my articles to be like that. Something that stop your brain from churning and squeeze a question or two to make you rethink your view.

Read more about Gerry Fox’s interview with The Borneo Post SEEDS here.

Tears

Tears

They are like a windscreen cleaner

They are like your windscreen cleaner that clear your vision as you drive in heavy rains

You know one of those magic windscreen cleaner that called ‘Rain Away’

 

Tears

They are like a life cleaner

They clear your vision in life as you go through your day with heavy heart

You know it is okay to tear once in awhile 

Your windscreen need to be cleaned anyway 

Where am I heading?

For some, writing is just a mere way to get the job done. For some, writing is just a mere way to get recognized. For some, writing is just a mere way to simply write. 

 

I just came back from Rainforest World Music Festival happened at Sarawak Culture Village. There I was at the event, rubbing shoulders with travel writers, music writers and reporters from all over the world. 

 

For most of the times, I did not pack up my courage to say ‘hi’ or networking. Perhaps some of these veteran writers only thought of I’m a just an Asian kid whose first language was not English, why bother to write in English anyway right?

 

The vibes being in the midst of fellow writers from different continents only left me inspired and awed, made me think “I really need to work hard on this”. 

 

One of the mornings, before the concerts and workshops began, I was doing my job in the media center, surrounded by three American writers. I assumed they were Americans. Having to work in this line of work, I’ve interviewed so many people of different nationalities that now I could differentiate an American and a Canadian, a New Zealand accent and an Australian accent. Recently I even interviewed a Welsh, maybe I should take up linguistic and study the accents of the world. 

 

So back to the story of the three Americans; they talked a lot. About Republicans and Democrats, one of them even mentioned that he was going to publish a travel book. 

 

It got me thinking; where am I heading with my writing? I don’t want to be one of those people who write just for the sake of writing. To write for the sake of datelines. 

 

Can I write a novel? I could barely finish my short stories that I started. Can I write a book about my culture? Kicking Heidi Munan of her own game in writing books about Sarawak? Who better to write a book about Sarawak than someone who has Sarawakian blood running through her veins right? Someone who speaks at least three of the native Sarawak dialects.

 

Can I write about Jesus? My faith as a Catholic?  

 

I have no idea.

 

All I know, I’m going to continue to write as if it’s the last thing I would do before I die. 

 

My Heart Sank Every Time We Never Said Goodbye

There are two things I disagree with Sir Elton John; first is same-sex marriage, second is when he said sorry is the hardest word. I bet he never had to say goodbye.

My heart sank every single freaking time when we say goodbye. It’s funny because we talked for hours on the phone every night when we are apart.

It sank when he looked at me and said, “I love you”.

It sank when he kissed my cheek after he said, “I love you”.

It sank when he did not say goodbye, but ‘I’ll see you again”.

It sank when it felt like we don’t  need to say goodbye as if,

as if,

as if,

We will grow old together,

as if,

as if,

Death will never separate us.

My heart sank every time when we never said goodbye.

Image

 

Writing no longer serves its purpose to me like it used to.

Back then, when I finally finished writing something, a sense of relief and peace took over me.

Now, sense of worry and fear dominates me.

“Was the information correct?”

“Did I miss out on anything?”

“Will people read it?”

“How many page views will I get?”

I know, I shouldn’t be bother.

But I can’t help it.

I put my heart in every word, every sentence.

I thought it through for every line.

I don’t write because it is my job to write.

I write because I need to write.

And I want to be good.

No, I want to be great in writing.

Being a Writer

Yes, I’m finally being hired as a writer. A writer, not a reporter, not a journalist but a humble writer.

The job is seemingly unsuitable for me because

a) I don’t have any formal education of journalism or hold a major in English

b) English is not my first language

c) I feel very inferior for being paid as a writer.

So what my job requires me to do:

1) Go for event, function, write a news out of it

2) Come up with a feature story and write about it

3) Anything in between.

Writing now came serve as a different purpose in me. Back then, I mean just few weeks ago it serves as an escape, a way I create my own world that far from my current reality, a source of comfort.

Now, I write for a living, I write because that was I supposed to do, that was I hired to, so I write, even when I don’t feel like writing.

I love my job, yes one month into it, I still love it. Mainly because I still love writing no matter what form of writing. I guess I just don’t have  the similar satisfaction after I finish a worth-reading blog entry when I finish an article for my job.

These three blogs, PrettyBeadyLacey, Faithfully Writing and this blog still offer me more satisfactions than my day job. (Although I admit I do sound so bimboish sometimes in my so-called DIY Fashion Blog).

I always wanted to finish a short story. I finished one, years ago, almost being published but I don’t know where it went.

Pray, I’ll finish one. This year.